Everyone knows you can’t just pick up and leave for vacation. There’s preparing and packing and cleaning — who wants to come back to a dirty house? — and all sorts of things to take care of. And of course, you’ve got to make your house as secure as possible in order to deter potential burglars. We found an excellent list of 16 things to do when preparing your house for vacation. So let’s hit some of the high points.
It’s a fact of life that burglars target houses that look like no one’s home. They look for things like an overstuffed mailbox that clearly hasn’t been checked in days, or garbage cans that haven’t been taken to the road on garbage day. If you’re leaving for a week — maybe even two — it’s a good idea to have the post office hold your mail, and maybe have a neighbor or trusted friend haul your garbage cans to the curb on trash day. Take a walk around your property and check to see how the yard looks. If it’s spring or summer, make sure to mow your yard before you leave. A shaggy lawn is another sign to a burglar that your house might be empty.
So much to do before you leave, right? Unplug appliances like your microwave or coffeemaker, toaster oven, TVs, phone chargers, etc. Not only do those appliances continue to use electricity while you’re gone, they’re susceptible to electrical surges. It is, however, a good idea to leave a couple of lamps on a timer, so that they come on when it’s dark. Leaving the same lights on 24 hours a day is a sure sign that no one’s home. Also, toss any food from your fridge that might not be good when you get back. You don’t want to come home to an overripe refrigerator! Set your thermostat to at least 50 degrees if you’re traveling this winter to help ensure that your pipes don’t freeze.
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One Last Thing
Double-check that you locked the doors before you leave! You may be heading for vacation, but you still want to be smart and safe. Make sure all your doors and windows are locked. If you have an alarm system, then make sure it is turned on. A vacation is for only a few days, and you want to make sure you come home with all your things intact.